Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W4Y20) : UN SG warns of “dark side of technology”; UN experts call for investigation on Jeff Bezos’ phone hacking; WEF on Dangers of Digital innovation; Microsoft data breach; Fines for EU privacy breaches reach 114 million….
INDEX / MAIN NAEWS
- The dark side of technology among ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future, according to UN SG
- UN backing of controversial cybercrime treaty raises suspicions
- “New technologies are creating new digital divides”: UNDESA World Social Report 2020
- World Economic Forum Global Risks Report Highlights Dangers of Digital innovation
- At Davos, UN Broadband Commission advocates for financing inclusive meaningful connectivity for sustainable impact
- France and the US have agreed on a truce regarding a dispute over a French tax on American tech companies.
- Microsoft Leaves 250M Customer Service Records Open to the Web
- Fines for European privacy breaches reach 114 million euros: report
- Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes After Embarrassing Officials in Brazil
- The Dubai Financial Services Authority supports National Cybersecurity Strategy by Launching a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform
- UN experts call for investigation into allegations that Saudi Crown Prince involved in hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone
- Here Is the Technical Report Suggesting Saudi Arabia’s Prince Hacked Jeff Bezos’ Phone
- IGF 2020 Call For Validation of Thematic Tracks
« Certain UN members may have been ‘bought off’ by proponents of a controversial UN resolution on cybercrime in exchange for support on the plans, an official from the Council of Europe who deals with cybersecurity has told EURACTIV…”
“Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced a bill Tuesday aimed at barring the United States from sharing intelligence with any countries that permit Huawei to operate their 5G networks…”
“Huawei should be granted a limited role in the UK’s 5G network roll-out. That is the recommendation made to senior officials following government departmental meetings on Wednesday…”
“Robert Strayer, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, granted an interview to FRANCE 24 in which he discussed the threat posed by equipment from Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, being used in future 5G mobile networks…”
“Troubled that former American spies are plying their trade for foreign governments, Congress has passed new legislation requiring U.S. spy agencies to provide an annual assessment detailing the risks such conduct poses for national security….”
« Both President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump agreed to extend negotiations to the end of the year, thereby postponing Washington’s threat of sanctions against Paris…”
« UK Chancellor Sajid Javid has told the Davos meeting he will not back down over the introduction of a new sales tax on large US tech firms. The US threatened it would consider retaliatory tariffs on UK car makers if the measure goes ahead…”
« Having wrapped up negotiations for the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, which encompasses various components including digital identities, artificial intelligence, and digital trade, the three nations will now work to formally sign the agreement into force…”
“Despite the US threats of imposing new tariffs, France, Italy, Spain and the UK said on Wednesday (22 January) they would move ahead with their national digital tax if there is no agreement at the OECD level by the end of this year…”
“Over the past five years, International Data Corporation (IDC) has been documenting the rise of the digital economy and the digital transformation that enterprises must undergo to compete and succeed…”
“According to EURACTIV.cz’s partner, Hospodářské noviny, the US has threatened the Czech Republic with tariffs on Czech goods in the event that parliament adopts a 7% digital tax on Google, Facebook and other giants…”
PRIVACY – DATA PROTECTION
« NIST published a preliminary draft of the Privacy Framework in September 2019, when it requested public feedback. The agency had initially hoped to release version 1.0 by the end of 2019, but it was officially announced only on January 16…”
« Misconfigured Microsoft cloud databases containing 14 years of customer support logs exposed 250 million records to the open internet for 25 days. The account info dates back as far as 2005 and is as recent as December 2019 — and exposes Microsoft customers to phishing and tech scams…”
European regulators have imposed 114 million euros ($126 million) in fines for data breaches since tougher privacy rules came into force in mid-2018, with approaches varying widely from country to country.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a high-profile court battle over whether users can sue Facebook for using facial recognition technology on their photos without proper consent.
« New Delhi is inching closer to recommending regulations that would require social media companies and instant messaging app providers to help law enforcement agencies identify users who have posted content — or sent messages — it deems questionable, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch…”
“The start of the New Year finds the world facing four looming threats to human progress: surging geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday…”
“The World Social Report 2020 examines the impact of four such megatrends on inequality: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration. Technological change can be an engine of economic growth, offering new possibilities in health care, education, communication and productivity.
“For the first time ever, the top five most likely global risks enumerated in the annual Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum (PDF) are all environmental: extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and human made environmental disasters. In terms of impact, the top five risks are climate action failure, weapons of mass destruction, biodiversity loss, extreme weather, and water crisis…”
SURVEILLANCE – ENCRYPTION
“The tech giant Apple dropped its end-to-end encryption plans for iCloud nearly two years ago after having a conflict with the US regulators. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had complained that such a feature would harm investigators. Pavel Durov also criticized apps that use iCloud to store data….”
“Apple Inc (AAPL.O) dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters….”
“The ITU UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development examined new financing models that would help accelerate ‘meaningful universal connectivity’ on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland….”
“Momentum has been steadily building behind efforts to use blockchain technology to help vulnerable children, families and communities. And now the UNICEF Innovation Fund and Ethereum Classic Labs are teaming up to take these efforts to the next level…”
“The ASEAN Post recently ran a story on the world’s longest internet shutdown in the northern part of Rakhine State in Myanmar and the concept of digital rights as a legitimate human right…”
“A member of the House of Lords has introduced a private member’s bill in a bid to force the government to resurrect the age verification plan for pornographic websites.
The bill was introduced in a first reading yesterday as the Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill by Baroness Howe of Idlicote…”
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
“In this report we identify the pressures currently being applied to independent journalists working in central and eastern Europe. We show that the autonomy and independence of the media across much of Europe is under threat from politicians, who launch verbal attacks on journalists, but also from other journalists, who discredit and smear colleagues working for rival publications…”
“Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has created a new tool – BIRD – to provide resources and legal assistance to journalists in the region while reporting on and documenting attacks on the media…”
« Journalist firebrand Glenn Greenwald has been charged with cybercrimes by federal prosecutors in Brazil, according to a new report from the New York Times. Greenwald recently helped expose corruption in the Brazilian government through a series of stories at the Intercept that included leaked messages highly embarrassing for senior government officials…”
“Facebook has warned over freedom of expression as the European Union considers measures to stop disinformation campaigns across online platforms.
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP for Global Affairs warned that in the online world, “the scope of what we deem to be acceptable speech has narrowed over recent years, leading to potential erosions in freedom of expression…”.
“The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) launched the first financial regulator-led Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (Platform) in the region in collaboration with the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), the National Computer Emergency Response Team for the UAE (aeCERT), the Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg (CIRCL) and the Open Source Threat Intelligence and Sharing Platform Project (MISP)….”
“India’s electricity grid operators will have to install firewalls and other measures used by companies to avert an attack on their information technology systems and check rising hacking incidents of power networks across the world….”
“If Windows 7 finally reached end of extended support last week, organizations will still be able to pay Microsoft to get extended security updates for PCs that can’t be immediately updated to a newer version of Windows. That’s exactly what the German federal government will do this year for 33,000 PCs still running Windows 7 (via ZDNet)…”
CYBER ATTACK / CYBERCRIME
“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is believed to have been hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018, according to a new bombshell report from The Guardian’s Stephanie Kirchgaessner…”
« An American businessman who co-founded a cybersecurity company has admitted to hiring criminals to carry out cyber-attacks against others.
Tucker Preston, of Macon, Georgia, confessed to having paid threat actors to launch a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks between December 2015 and February 2016…”
“The Austrian government has been hit by a cyber-attack that could be the work of a rival foreign power.
The attack, which was leveled against the country’s Foreign Ministry, began late on Saturday night. A spokesperson for the ministry described the incident as “serious” and said that experts had warned it could continue for several days…”
« Saudi Arabia has denied that its crown prince was responsible for hacking Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ phone.
A message from a phone number used by the prince has been implicated in the data breach, according to reports…”
experts call for investigation into allegations that Saudi Crown Prince
involved in hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone
GENEVA (22 January 2020) – « UN human rights experts are gravely concerned by information they have received suggesting that, in contravention of fundamental international human rights standards, a WhatsApp account belonging to the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2018 deployed digital spyware enabling surveillance of The Washington Post owner and Amazon CEO, Jeffery Bezos…”
“UN experts are demanding an immediate investigation by the US into evidence indicating that Jeff Bezos, the billionaire owner of the Washington Post, was hacked with spyware deployed in a WhatsApp message sent from the personal account of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince,…” Mohammed bin Salman.
« Motherboard has obtained the report made by FTI Consulting into how Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman allegedly hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s phone….”
“Turkish hackers last week claimed responsibility for cyber attacks on Greek government sites, including those of the Greek National Intelligence Services (EYP), Greek Parliament, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Greek Ministry of Finance among others.
“A hacker has published this week a massive list of Telnet credentials for more than 515,000 servers, home routers, and IoT (Internet of Things) “smart” devices…”
« Mitsubishi Electric Corp. said Monday it was hit by a massive cyberattack and that information on government agencies and business partners may have been compromised, with a Chinese group believed behind the attack…”
“Today, Cisco Talos is unveiling the details of a new RAT we have identified we’re calling “JhoneRAT.” This new RAT is dropped to the victims via malicious Microsoft Office documents. The dropper, along with the Python RAT, attempts to gather information on the victim’s machine and then uses multiple cloud services: Google Drive, Twitter, ImgBB and Google Forms…”
CHILD ONLINE PROTECTION
« The UK’s data protection watchdog has today published a set of design standards for Internet services which are intended to help protect the privacy and safety of children online…”
“The majority of German parents believe that their children and teens should have further online protection from web content, a new survey showed…”
“Internet users across more than a dozen sub-Saharan African nations experienced slow service after two undersea cables to the continent’s western coast were damaged this week…”
« One of the two very controversial proposals in last year’s EU Copyright Directive fight was the “link tax,” which would require licenses for links to news-sites that contained even a few consecutive words from the article or headline — links and excerpts that would otherwise be considered fair dealing under EU law…”
« Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee approved on Thursday a resolution addressing several challenges arising from the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) technologies…”
« From landlines to mobile phones, typewriters to computers, pocket digital cameras to mobile phone with cameras, countries such as Tanzania have jumped few steps ahead of digitalization compared to other developing nations…”
« Based on community input received during the open mic session in Berlin, the IGF 2019 Taking Stock Process and Call for Issues that went out in December 2019, and discussion during the First IGF 2020 open consultations and face-to-face MAG meeting, the MAG agreed that the IGF 2020 programme should again be structured along main thematic tracks as in 2019 cycle…”
The IETF Administration LLC has finalised its 2020 budget following a community consultation.
Providers of voice over IP in the United States will be required to implement the IETF’s Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) protocol as a result of recently enacted legislation to address some of the root causes of illegal robocalling on the telephone network.?
“Rinalia Abdul Rahim, SVP for Strategy & Implementation at ISOC, explains their vision and initiatives to improve security and access to the Internet…”
“Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are the critical community to protect us against cybersecurity threats and scale impact…”
“A World Economic Forum (WEF) report released today recommends that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should strongly consider joining the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative to improve the security of the Internet’s global routing system…”